07 March 2007

L’Echange symbolique et la mort

‘Identity is untenable: it is death, since it fails to inscribe its own death..

‘Death is always simultaneously that which awaits us at the system’s term, and the extermination that awaits the system itself. There is only one word to designate the finality of death that is internal to the system, the one that is everywhere inscribed in its operational logic, and the radical counter-finality, ex-scribed from the system as such, but which everywhere haunts it: the same term of death, and only it can manifest itself on either side. This ambiguity can only be seen in the Freudian death instinct. It is not an ambiguity. It simply translates the proximity of realized perfection and the immediate defection of the system..

‘Death should never be interpreted as an actual occurrence in a subject or a body, but rather as a form, possibly a form of social relation, where the determination of the subject and value disappears. The object of reversibility puts an end simultaneously to determinacy and indeterminacy..

‘In truth, there is nothing left to ground ourselves on. All that is left is theoretical violence. Speculation to the death, whose only method is the radicalization of all hypothesis. Even the code and the symbolic are terms of simulation - it must be possible somehow to retire them, one by one, from discourse.’

-Jean Baudrillard, 1929-2007